Sunday, November 23, 2008

Public HS Options

On the November "Start a New Post" Annette Werner wrote:

I attended a presentation by Bill Isler today about Pittsburgh Public Schools: Excellence for All.

I raised the question of a family considering a move to Highland Park, Shadyside or other East End neighborhoods outside the Allderdice feeder pattern. Since magnet lotteries are uncertain and a student may try a magnet and change their mind, or (as Kathy Fine asked) simply want a full service comprehensive high school, what is there for these families to fall back on?

Mr. Isler said that at this time students could go to schools like Peabody and Westinghouse and that comprehensive high schools are to be improved at some point through magnet programs. So I guess the fallback for many families would have to be private school.

Will this approach lead to quality public schools and strong neighborhoods in the long run? Maybe- but I would sure like to know that there are places where it has worked before counting on it.

November 23, 2008 1:24 PM


PPSparent said...

Comprehensive programs are going to be improved through magnets?

I think the district/administration is running head-on into its big pile of plans. Many people have said all along that there seem to be many good ideas -- but they need proper implementation (and building of support even before that) to succeed.

Right now, gearing up for two new 6-10 schools and a third entirely new 6-9 school is hitting. I don't think they quite realized what they bit off for themselves. Also, what happened to the sports-related career theme for Westinghouse? How does that go along with Westinghouse remaining a comprehensive HS?

Annette Werner said...

He said that Peabody and Westinghouse were comprehensive options now, leaving open the possibility that this could change. And of course enrollment in these schools is too low at this time to make them "full service" in the way that Allderdice is and Schenley was.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Never heard of a sports-related career theme. What's up with that?

Questioner said...

The Westinghouse plan is discussed in the October post "Westinghouse Plans."

There were to be regular meetings in Homewood about plans for the school, but little information has been provided recently.

The district has an awful lot on the table.

Anonymous said...

has anyone spoken with Board member Heather Arnet? She represents H Park area.Sounds like an advocate is needed to pull for kids who do not live in Allderdice feeder.

Questioner said...

At a June 2008 Board workshop Heather said she believed a goal of the Board should be "to assure that equitable choices be provided to students regardless of neighborhood origin so that all students have equal access to high school choices."

Since that time not much has been said about this issue, though.

Sherry said she believed that families were less interested in choices than in "a good solid education in a safe environment."